DIY Thermochromism
August 29, 2012 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Where do I find a small square of material that changes colour by touch? Is this even possible?

I've got an idea for an art project that involves a passport-photo-sized square of material that would change colour by touch. I was originally inspired by a science experiment as a kid that involved a square of an LCD display, similar to what they used in calculators. However, I'm having a hard time finding LCD display sheets that aren't attached to a bulky electronic setup, and I don't have the tools to dismantle a calculator (nor a calculator to dismantle).

Google searches bring up thermochromic material and Hypercolour but again I can't seem to find a way to get non-industrial sizes. I just need something thin and small.

Are there any other ways to achieve this effect?
posted by divabat to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What kind of "material" - do you mean fabric?

If not ... what about this from a teacher supply web site?
posted by tilde at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2012

Wow, you really can buy this kind of fabric in yards! Though I guess a full yard is a LOT for your project. Maybe you can contact them and buy a scrap bag?
posted by tilde at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2012

There are t-shirts on eBay. You could just cut out what you need.
posted by kimdog at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2012

Response by poster: tilde: BINGO. Thank you!!!
posted by divabat at 9:58 AM on August 29, 2012

I can't tell if this trick is sleight of hand or thermochromatic. $4 plus shipping.

You're in San Fran - call the Exploratorium. I bought a post card there years ago that was like that (but cardboard of course).
posted by tilde at 10:01 AM on August 29, 2012

Oh, yay! And thank you for posting, I learned something(s) new today!
posted by tilde at 10:02 AM on August 29, 2012

An alternative source for the small squares of the thermochromic film that tilde linked, above. The same site also links temperature sensitive glass, but it doesn't seem to be available at the moment.
posted by metaBugs at 10:02 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: tilde: those silks would likely be sleight of hand (I used to be a stage magic nut).
posted by divabat at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2012

A second solution would be to buy several stress/mood cards (widely available online, sometimes in gag gift or science-y shops), disassemble them, and put the little thermochromatic plastic pieces side by side.
posted by anaelith at 4:56 AM on August 30, 2012

« Older winging a diaper change   |   My name is Christopher John Francis Boone Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.